Monthly Archives: September 2014

Thank Goodness Wisconsin Turned Down High Speed Rail!

From “Fast trains, supply networks, and firm performance” in VoxEU:

We find that sales and measured productivity rose substantially for firms near the new (high speed rail) stations after the opening. Firms in industries with greater purchased input shares outperformed firms in industries with lower purchased input shares.

So Wisconsin dodged the fate of having higher firm productivity.

The report is authored by Bernard, Moxnes, and Saito.

Update, 10/1 12:26PM Pacific: And here is the IMF’s assessment of the role of infrastructure investment. Not that I expect it to convince all the folks who think we should privatize all roads, airports, harbors, and train service…

The Rising Dollar and Macroeconomic and Policy Prospects

From Buoyant Dollar Recovers Its Luster, Underlining Rebound in U.S. Economy in today’s NY Times:

The United States dollar, after one of its most prolonged weak spells ever, has now re-emerged as the preferred currency for global investors. Across trading desks in New York, London and elsewhere, analysts are rushing to raise their dollar forecasts based on the resurgence in the American economy.

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Regimes in macroeconomics

For academic researchers who are readers of this blog (and I know you’re lurking out there), I wanted to call attention to my new paper on Macroeconomic Regimes and Regime Shifts:

Many economic time series exhibit dramatic breaks associated with events such as economic recessions, financial panics, and currency crises. Such changes in regime may arise from tipping points or other nonlinear dynamics and are core to some of the most important questions in macroeconomics. This chapter surveys the literature on regime changes. Section 1 begins with an interpretation of the move of an economy into and out of recession as an example of a change in regime and introduces some of the basic tools for analyzing such phenomena. Section 2 provides a detailed overview of econometric methods that are appropriate for time series that are subject to changes in regime. Section 3 summarizes the ways in which changes in regime can be incorporated into theoretical economic models and briefly reviews applications in a number of areas of macroeconomics.

From October 2013: “The Obamacare implosion is worse than you think”

That’s a title from an oped by former GW Bush speechwriter and current AEI scholar Marc Thiessen nearly a year ago. We can now evaluate whether in fact the implementation of individual insurance mandate component of the ACA did implode. From “New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come,” White House blog today:

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